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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BEGA KWA BEGA


BkB is a co-operative society of self help group under the umbrella of Catholic Church within Korogocho Community. The name is a Kiswahili expression meaning shoulder to shoulder.

BkB started its activities in 1991 with two groups, thus Udada and Vyondo in making the necklaces and baskets. BkB is legally registered under the Ministry of culture and social services.
• The following are kind of registration and licenses that BkB has:
• Certificates of Registration
• Trade and Export license
• Pin Number
• Hawkers License
The above documents were acquired in 1996, when BkB started expanding, thus initiating more groups. So was foreseen to have the above documents to facilitate business both locally and Internationally.


SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION
We are settled in Korogocho area, which is one of the biggest and largest slums in Nairobi. It’s situated in eastern part of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Korogocho is a name of an old man called Mzee Korogocho who was one of the first indigenous to settle in Korogocho community. The old man fought for people’s right, thus has battled with the colonial chiefs to acquire the land in Korogocho for settlement. It’s approximated that over 120,000 people live in Korogocho, where life is harsh and survival is challenge. Majority of people living here can’t afford the basic necessities of life and thus live in unfriendly conditions, facing poor shelter, poor sanitation, poor drainage, poor roads, the poor security of life and lack of proper medical facilities. It’s the above community that BkB members have originated. From it’s where they do their work and their activities.

The living standard of Korogocho Community is too low compared to other parts of Nairobi. The mentioned earlier Korogocho residents are very poor although people are trying as much as they can to get out of their poverty, We have many street children around who indulge in drug taking, stealing and other funny characters. We have a large number of youths who consider stealing as their career since they have completed their education and they could not get employment anywhere, so they find the best option is stealing and its through this habit of the youth inside Korogocho webs making the security of the area to be at its risk. Many people are robbed and snatched their belongings each and everyday, thus the security has became a worrying problem in the area. This is due to hard economic situation in our country.
Also because of many problems and hardships in the area, majority of people have indulged in alcoholic drinking, thus they get no option in life. They find the best thing for them to forget their problems is through drinking. Also we see that many girls aged from 15-20 years and above are engaged in prostitution, they sell their body through sex so that they may get money to survive. The prostitution has increased the number of people with Aids in the area. The single mothers who have children and no husband, they are engaged in alcoholic brewing business which promote drunkardness. This alcoholic drinking have became a worrying problem in the area since majority of the people consuming the drink engage themselves in bad activities.

The main products coming from Korogocho area are agricultural and handicraft creations. In Korogocho, greater part of old women is engaged in small scale farming along the riverbanks. They plant cabbages, tomatoes, onions, potatoes etc. in little quantity, as they have a small portion of land – whatever they produce they take a part to their families and the remaining they sell to the local people at affordable prices.

The Bega Kwa Bega members make handicraft products. We sell our creations in local and worldwide market. The goods are as follows:
• Baskets
• Necklaces & jewelry
• Tie & dye
• Furniture, shoe making, etc.

This economic activity has helped men, women, girls and boys in one way or another to solve their problem of unemployment.

THE AIMS OF BEGA KWA BEGA
• To fight the problem of unemployment within Korogocho slum.
• To improve its members social, economic and spiritual welfare.
• To rehabilitate and instill dignity in some of our members.
• To lift up the living standard of our members.
• To became a cooperative.
• To be very stable economically.
• To create a good relationship with existing customers and to expand the market for our products.
• To reinforce the capacity of the members to face technical, managing trading.
• To improve in terms of management and administration.
• To enhance competitive quality of our products.
• To create new designs of our products each and every year.
• To built a stronger unity among the members of different projects in various areas within country.

BkB does not manage its six projects, but each group has its own management. In the executive committee, composed of 12 people, there are 2 members from the groups. All groups’ members elect the BkB committee every year in January. The BkB committee acts as a central point of co-ordination of all the activities taking place within the groups and the whole project. The main matters are:
• Assisting in planning and budgeting within the groups;
• Making sure that the groups follow the objective;
• Following keenly the activities of each group;
• Coordinating all business related matters with customers on behalf of the groups;
• Helping in marketing and advertisement on behalf of the groups;
• Ensuring those things have been implemented;
• Dispatching and receiving orders;
• Controlling all the financial matters within BkB and groups;
• Checking that proper relationship between BkB and who is achieved.

BkB is constituted by:
UDADA – started in 1991, there are 27 female members who create and sew necklaces, bracelet, belts, crosses, etc whit beads, seeds, clay and other kind of material.
MAMA WA VYONDO – started in 1992, 27 women compose it; the majority of them are single mothers. They weave basket with sisal-material.
KOCHKANGA – started in 1997, its members are 12 and make by hands Batikanga and tie and dye clothes.
DOLLS – Started in 2003 this group composed by 8 women originated from Udada group. They introduced a new handcraft activity of soft and wire dolls making, soft animals and bags, table mat all in amusing and ethnic style

All these groups were formed with the help of the St. John’s Catholic Church (Kariobangi parish). The project aim is to enable jobless men, women and young people exposed to the brutal aspects of life in the slum, especially alcoholism and drug addiction, crime and prostitution, to generate income enough for them and their families, to live in dignity and share together the Word of God.

Our motto is: INJILI, KAZI na USHIRIKIANO (Gospel, work and solidarity)

LABOUR ORGANISATION
In our groups we have no fixed monthly salary for each activities but we normally do what we call piecework, where the amount to be remunerated is paid according to laid breakdown. Members are paid according to the work they have done thus the piece in this case, the more you produce the more you get. Being in the terms of the piecework depend mostly in quantity of the order to be done. We have no other jobs, so the more orders we have, the more we can work.

SELLING AND MARKETING
Inside our country, we sell the products:
• In BkB showroom, situated near Babadogo terminal, where the creations are displayed from each and every group and the customers came and buy;
• In local exhibition that we arrange;
• We attend organized exhibition by other people, government and NGO.

The total percentage sold in internal market is 15% and depends with the season (from July to August each year we sell more).
We export 85% of our products, so we have acquired export license from Kenyan Trade Office and we send the items of orders by airfreight or sea freight.

Usually our foreign customers sent us the 50% of total amount of order, but now it is not enough, because our production costs is between 70% and 75%, so we have begun a little revolving fund and we are also starting with a program of micro credit to cover the remaining costs.

We do work closely to the customers and to enable us have a good relationship, through that we can exchange several different ideas and knowledge and improve our skills.

BkB is a pilot-project, since the beginning up to now the groups have grown up in number and our dream is to start other activities involving much more jobless people. We hope to welcome a new set of five young women very soon who sew and embroider bed sheet, tablecloth and child dress. For the next December we desire to help the informal school of St. John to run the production of soccer ball. This last project is to give hope to the students of the last year; with the money they can gain they will be able to pay the state admission fee of the exam to secondary school.

These above are our general information, we are at your complete disposal for every clarification you may need.

In faith,
Bega Kwa Bega Committee



BEGA KWA BEGA (BkB) - Korogocho Projects
P.O. BOX 64533 Nairobi – Kenya
Tel. e fax. 00254-2-791734
e-mail: bkwab@yahoo.com

Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited - Ruaraka Branch
P.O.BOX 65090 and Tel. 861760/1 Korogocho
Bega Kwa Bega self help group Account no. 1203070
Bank Code: BARCKENYA.